Content marketing is all the rage these days as traditional ways of marketing — from advertising to promotions — continue to splinter into so many channels that it’s difficult to achieve critical mass with any one tactic.
On the surface, content marketing seems like a natural way for foodservice manufacturers to own the conversation for a particular market — whether it’s school foodservice, yogurt shops, barbecue joints that cater (add your favorite segment here).
Sure, the number of ways to create and distribute content has changed. But three core principles of content marketing are as old as the first caveman who figured out there’s money in teaching others about the benefits of fire:
- Capable. Content marketing is often deemed as a “free” opportunity, so it gets the “appropriate” resource of a hapless volunteer who occasionally pushes out recipes, blatant product promos or a Happy July 4th graphic on Facebook. The reality is just the opposite needs to happen. Content management needs to be led by a capable subject matter expert (or capable “gatherer”) who understands that valuable content ultimately means how to help operators make or save money and/or time. Everything else is just white noise.
- Character. Foodservice content marketing is all about presenting a brand’s voice in its own special way. Many manufacturers offer up clinical, anonymous and polite presentations of facts and figures. But operators (like all humans!) gravitate to a personality (or personalities) who talk in genuine terms. They’re looking for a trusted business associate who can simply explain how to improve bacon yield or present creative ways to merchandise croissants in the display case. Content marketing is one of the best ways to let your company’s true character shine through by featuring those folks who personify what your company is all about.
- Commitment. Developing meaningful content is hard work that can pay huge dividends if the commitment is there. But it is a commitment. Odds are good you don’t rely on a volunteer to manage your $200,000 advertising program. So, why would you rely on a volunteer to distribute content that impacts your brand image on such human level?